CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati will honor female student veterans this week as Women’s History Month comes to a close.
“With some of our female veterans, when they walked around campus with their hats or jackets or something representing their branch, students would say like, ‘Hey, is that your husband or is that your boyfriend's hat? Was your dad in the military?’ not realizing that they were the veteran,” said Terence Harrison, program manager for UC’s Veterans Programs & Services. “We started this as a way just to say thank you for your service.”
“It's a really big culture shock, just coming back to the U.S. in general and then being in college with a lot of people that just got out of high school,” said Sgt. Emily Lacy, a junior at the University of Cincinnati.
Lacy signed up for the Army right out of high school and spent the last six years overseas. She’s a mom too.
“Coming here, I've realized how much mental agility I had because of all of those things,” she said.
Military-affiliated students on campus said they have to balance their duty with the requirements of a college education.
“Sometimes you got to prioritize,” said UC mechanical engineering student Bailey Trusty, who also serves in the Ohio Air National Guard. “You know, you signed up, you got to do your duty first, and then your school comes real close second there. They’re both up there in priorities.”
Trusty said she was deployed a few months ago on a COVID mission, where she assisted with testing. On campus, she’s involved with a veteran's organization and a student-veteran mentor.
“I can kind of make my mark in a small way in something I'm really familiar in,” she said. “So I enjoy it a lot.”
“Those of us that are coming on campus that have military experience, we have seen things that they have not seen,” said UC senior Terri Andreoni-Armstrong, who served in the military for 25 years as a chemical officer and a force manager. On campus, Andreoni-Armstrong helped start an organization for veterans. The group has about 45 members.
Andreoni-Armstrong said it is great having a family inside of a family.
“I’m just not only a Bearcat, but I'm also a veteran Bearcat, which is real nice," Andreoni-Armstrong said.